Wednesday, December 6, 2006


We usually feel meaning is attained through structure. That is to say, things happen and we put them into order of one kind or another until a structure emerges, and that becomes a meaning for us. This is how we justify: we discover meaning through structure, and that is what we think will create our validity.

It works, more or less, when we're organizing things or trying to discern patterns in nature. But the everyday events of life are so chaotic that they generally defy classification.

In doing so, they subvert structure- no matter how hard we try to impose it, something constantly comes along to upset it. In doing so, the meanings we construct gets lost, because we were expecting them to emerge from the structure- and it turns out the structure isn't fundamentally valid. No matter how hard we try to order things, something unexpected comes along to put a spoke in the wheels, and all of a sudden it seems we're starting from scratch again.

That seems unjustifed to us. It's not fair. We have worked like the very devil himself to create this structure of understanding and then >>blap!<< something comes along and upsets the whole applecart.

There's an alternative to this hamster wheel we're on: we can attempt to discover what inherent justification might mean.

What is inherent justification? Inherent justification arises from the fact that everything is just so. It doesn't need to be any different. Structure and lack of structure are immaterial to inherent justifcation.

Things begin as already justfied.

If the meaning we perceive and accept is inherent, discovered in the simple nature of the moment itself, rather than the organization we discover within the moment, well, that's already different, isn't it? Meaning of this kind becomes, in a sense, invulnerable, because it stems from the experience itself- and not the definition of it.

And wouldn't another word for "invulnerable meaning" perhaps be "Truth?"

Something as simple as attention to our breathing in our ordinary life can help feed the parts of us that are able to receive this impression. The breath is connected to parts that are not concerned with the elaborate structures our mind is forever working on. Breath is directly connected to a physical part that knows, all day long, every day:

Do this at once, or we will die. Not sooner or later: we will die NOW.

This understanding contains an urgency the mind is fundamentally unable to sense. They live side by side, but nonetheless we are not aware of that part. That part's understanding is so deep and so urgent that it functions even when we're asleep. It can't afford to take any time off.

A part like that can really help us care more about our practice.

It's worth investigating.

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